Our country is founded on the principle that every citizen should have equal access to America’s prosperity. The original Tea Party was a statement of protest against the government of England giving to the East India Company mandated monopoly over all of the tea trade in America. The English policy cut out all merchants from the business of selling tea and created a vertically integrated model with one monopoly controlling all aspects of a commodity.
Today, our government, through lack of enforcement of our antitrust laws, has granted the same monopolistic opportunity to a few multi-national corporations. The failure of our government to fully enforce marketplace safeguards – the Sherman Act, the Clayton Act and the Packers and Stockyards Act – is denying Americans their opportunity to have their piece of the American Dream and is a threat to our very democracy. These safeguards were passed by the Congress in the late 1800s and early 1900s to break up the excessive market power of the large corporations of the day which had manipulated the government and the markets placing a stranglehold on our government and our markets. Teddy Roosevelt was the first “Trust Buster.”
Organization for Competitive Markets’ primary objective in this work is to ensure antitrust and anti-competition laws are enforced and have the teeth necessary to provide the marketplace with safeguards so it can do its job for all of us delivering the democracy America represents as the Land of Opportunity. Over this past year, Congress has held two hearings on the topic of our failed antitrust laws. OCM is committed to raising awareness of the harm caused to the farmer, the consumer and our U.S. economy in an effort to bring about judicial and congressional reforms.
We need your help to ask your U.S. Senator to call on Senators Grassley and Klobuchar to continue their hearings and call on the Department of Justice to reform their current Merger Guidelines and restore the 1968 Merger Guidelines which followed the original intent of the antitrust and anti-competition laws by providing the safeguards “to preserve and promote market structures conducive to competition” and against monopolistic forces in the market that undermine our very democracy.
Call Your Senators
Please call your U.S. Senators and ask them to request Senators Grassley and Klobuchar hold hearings to review the Department of Justice’s review process and guidelines for acquisitions and mergers.
Sample phone script:
Hi, my name is _________, and I’m a resident of (your state).
I’m calling to ask Senator __________ to encourage Senators Grassley and Klobuchar to hold congressional hearings to review the process and guidelines the Department of Justice uses for acquisitions and mergers. The lack of enforcement and the 1982 changes in the Department of Justice’s merger guidelines which shifted from a review of competition to a review of greater efficiencies is destroying the viability of our communities and the opportunity for family farmers and individuals to prosper.
Email Your Senators
Please use the sample email below to ask your U.S. Senators to request Senators Grassley and Klobuchar hold hearings to review the Department of Justice’s review process and guidelines for acquisitions and mergers.
Dear Senator ____________,
In September of last year Senator Grassley correctly noted that the recent rash of acquisitions and mergers in this country has created a tsunami of concentration. I agree with his assessment.
With the approval of the Bayer/Monsanto merger on the heels of recent merger approvals by our government of Dow/Dupont and ChemChina and Syngenta, too few companies hold too much market power over our family farmers and our food.
If the $66 billion merger is approved, Bayer+Monsanto will be the world’s largest agribusiness company. Many of the vegetables you eat, key ingredients in our processed foods, the canola oil you use in cooking, and the cotton you wear will all essentially be controlled by one company. For farmers, this merger will have dramatic consequences for the price and availability of the seeds they use.
The combined company will own the seed for about 70% of all the cotton grown in the US. Together, Bayer+Monsanto and just one other company will sell 77% of all the corn seed grown in the US, and about 95% of all seed for corn, soybean, cotton, canola, and wheat will contain a Monsanto+Bayer gene that enables the extensive use of herbicides like Roundup on the fields.
This is clearly a national security issue that effects our very Democracy.
This tsunami has been building in large part because the Department of Justice no longer considers market structure and concentration when reviewing mergers. This economic freedom approach was abandoned in 1982 when new merger guidelines were unilaterally adopted by the Department of Justice without congressional authority or approval.
I am writing to ask you to encourage Senators Grassley and Klobuchar to hold a hearing and review the process and guidelines used by The Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission when reviewing mergers and acquisitions.
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